How To Level A Bumpy Lawn (Causes & Detailed Guide)

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Due to settling, drainage, and several natural and unnatural impacts, your lawn will become bumpier over time. Not only will it leave you an uneven garden with mounds and pits, but you will also experience hassles in mowing your lawn.
So, if you are asking yourself how to level a bumpy lawn, look no further but this article. Read on for two different methods to level your uneven lawn.

What Is Causing Bumps In Your Lawn?

Before handling your bumpy and uneven lawn, you should diagnose the factor that causes bumps in your garden. It might be the natural issues or some underlying problems that need solving.

In late winter and early spring, the freezing and thawing process will make the soil heave up and leave your garden uneven ripples here and there. Sprinkler leakage and drainage issues also cause bare spots and easy-compressed soil that will create bumps and holes.

How to Level a Bumpy and Uneven Lawn

Although earthworms or ants are a sign of good soil, poor pest control is the primary factor that leads to uneven lawns. Moreover, usual traffic over a yard can cause different areas to be compressed and shallow low spots in your garden. Another cause of unevenness is digging by people, animals, or equipment, especially dogs who love burying things in your garden.

When Should You Level Your Lawn?

Although leveling the lawn is a must to have a healthy lawn, it cannot happen at any time of the year. The best time for repairing your garden and soil care is around spring after the freezing winter ends. It is the time with sufficient moisture and fruitful weather when the existing grass refreshes itself. Moreover, spring is the best time to grow grass.

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How To Level A Bumpy Lawn: A Step-by-step Guide

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are two methods to level a bumpy lawn by hand. You can use a garden roller to flatten lumps and bumps or top-dressing your lawn to fill in low spots in your lawn.

Solution #1: Leveling your lawn with a garden roller

A garden roller compacts the soil and fix the unevenness of your garden, especially mounds caused by strong-growing roots or digging. However, you should only level your lawn by rolling it once every year in the spring. If it is overdone, roots might be unable to grow as the clay soil is extremely tightened up.

Level your lawn with a garden roller


  • A lawn roller (You can buy or rent it at a garden supply store. Remember to pick the right garden rollers type for your task)
  • A garden watering system (You can use a sprinkler attachment on your garden system)
  • Water or sand
  • A shovel and a garden rake
  • Some grass seeds

5 Steps to Level Your Lawn with a Garden Roller

Step 1: Water your lawn

You should use your watering system to wet the grass and soil. Watering the grass will loosen the soil and make it softer and easier to roll and flatten. However, do not overwater the lawn, or it might get muddy and take you more time to roll the turf.

Step 2: Fill in the roller barrel

A garden roller is hollow, which allows you to transport this lawn leveling equipment with ease. However, you need to add more weight to this roller by filling it with water or sand. How much water or sand you add determines the weight of a roller. So, do not fill it to the top if you don’t have enough strength to pull it around.

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Step 3: Roll your lawn

Starting from a corner, you will need to pull the roller across your turf in long strips. When reaching the endpoint, turn around and repeat the process. Keep on rolling until your garden is evenly rolled.

Remember to take some breaks, or else you will suffer from soreness.

Step 4: Remove large bumps and reseed if needed

You should use a shovel to remove the grass and dig large lumps that remain after rolling your garden. Remember to remove the soil just enough to make it leveled with other areas. You will need to reseed the area that you dig out.

Step 5: Aerating your garden

Use a garden rake to aerate your lawn, loosen the soil, and allow air and water to flow in. This will promote the growth of grass. You can use an aerator to aerate your lawn quickly.

Solution #2: Top-dressing the garden with lawn soil

Top-dressing the entire lawn is the most common solution for unleveled gardens. You can choose between filling the holes or top dressing the whole lawn.

Top-dressing your lawn


  • Lawn soil (The amount you need is based on how many low spots in your garden and whether you want to topdress your lawn or not)
  • Your watering system
  • A shovel, a wheelbarrow, a rake

4 Steps to Level Your Lawn with soil

Step 1: Water your lawn

Water your lawn to promote soil settlement. You will be able to see the depth of holes accurately. Do not overwater your turf as it might get muddy and hard to level.

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Step 2: Break soil in a wheelbarrow

Pour soil into a wheelbarrow and crush big clumps to make the soil fine-grained and easier to spread around. If you want to give your turf an organic lawn care, you can also use a soil mixture with compost and sand to promote the growth of grass.

Step 3: Remove the grass and fill in deep holes

If your holes are deeper than 3 inches, you need to remove the grass to prevent them from being buried. Use a shovel to dig out the lawn grasses inside. Fill the holes with enough leveling mixture to make it even with surrounding areas.

If the holes are shallow, you can skip digging and cover them with direct soil.

Step 4: Level your lawn with a rake

Use a garden rake to spread the soil evenly and flatten the surface of your garden. You should only top-dress your garden less than an inch to allow existing grass to grow. Finally, water your lawn to settle the soil in holes.

In The End

Leveling out an uneven lawn is a must-do lawn care to keep your garden beautiful. A smooth and leveled lawn will provide you with not only more usable surfaces to walk on but also easier lawn mowing. So, we hope that this article today shows you how to level a bumpy lawn by hand in the most effortless and cost-effective way.

Source: Gardening 101

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